News from the Nest

February 2012
In This Issue
Largest Gift in SUU History
Generous SUMA Gift
Fulbright Scholar
SUU is a Best College Buy

  SUU Professional Society Lunch & Networking

Friday, March 9, Noon to 1 p.m. at the Bank of America Conference Room, 201 S. Main St., Suite 200, Salt Lake City. Join us for the inaugural meeting and hear from SUU alumnus Travis Lovell ('03) on the current state of the economy. Bring your own lunch.

Click here for more details.



Theatre Arts

Alumni Reception

Satruday, April 14, at 10  p.m. following the production of Little Women. Visit with friends, faculty and staff from CPVA.

Click here for more details.



Alumni Days at Shakespeare

June 25-27, in Cedar City. Join us for the second year of this new alumni tradition and be one of the first to see the 51st season of the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Watch for next month's News from the Nest for information on the ticket package.


The Future is Rising
Like us on Facebook
View our profile on LinkedIn 

View our photos on flickr

View our videos on YouTube

Visit our blog

One of our alums recently noted that "it's a great day to be a T-Bird!" He was spot on with his comment and the articles below highlight a few of the many fantastic things that are occurring at your alma mater.

Your spring 2012 alumni magazine is nearing completion. If your mailing address recently changed or if you did not receive a fall alumni magazine, we urge you to update your mailing address now. We think you will be especially interested in this magazine as it outlines how the Future Is Rising at Southern Utah University.

We also want to make you aware that Alumni Days at Shakespeare will be held June 25-27. This tradition was launched last year and is a wonderful way to see all six plays at the Utah Shakespeare Festival at a discounted rate. Plus, you are invited to exclusive events with Festival cast and crew. Watch for next month's News from the Nest for details on the ticket package.

SUU Alumni Relations
Mindy, Ron, Linda & Ryan 

Largest Gift in SUU History
Walter Gibson ('51)Southern Utah University recently announced the largest single gift in its 115-year history: $4 million from Walter M. and Alice Gibson. The funds are designated for the College of Science and Engineering (COSE) and will help fund an endowment for student and faculty research initiatives and scholarships. 

"This is truly a game-changing gift for one of our largest and most dynamic colleges," stated SUU president Michael Benson. "We are extremely grateful to the Gibson family for their commitment to and support of the advancement of science at SUU. Their generosity will benefit the educational pursuits for countless students for generations. This is truly amazing."  


In recognition of this historic donation, SUU will be naming the College of Science and Engineering in honor of the late Walter Maxwell Gibson, who graduated from the Branch Agricultural College (now SUU) in 1952 with an associate's degree in chemistry. 


Read more about SUU alumnus Walter Gibson ('51) and the Gibson Family gift to the College of Science and Engineering.



$1 Million Gift to SUMA Brings SUU Closer to Groundbreaking

Beverley Taylor SorensonSouthern Utah University is one step closer to construction of the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA), thanks to the Sorenson Legacy Foundation who recently granted $1 million to the SUMA project. This gift brings fundraising for the museum to nearly $9 million in cash and pledges. As the University nears its $12.5 million goal, University officials hope to break ground for SUMA in the near future.  


"We are incredibly grateful to Beverley Sorenson and the Sorenson Legacy Foundation for this terrific gift," stated SUU President Michael Benson. "Beverley's commitment to arts education and her tireless efforts on behalf of school children everywhere will be evidenced in the daily activities of this magnificent facility."  


SUMA, currently in its final design phases will be free and open to the public. Its backers see thousands of school children taking in all the museum has to offer on a daily basis. It will also be the only art museum of its caliber in southern Utah.


Read more about the Sorenson Legacy Foundation gift and SUMA.



Communication Professor Serves as Fulbright Scholar in Swaziland

Dr. Jon SmithDr. Jon M. Smith, communication professor at Southern Utah University, is working as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Swaziland (UNISWA) in the Kingdom of Swaziland in southern Africa. Smith was awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to lecture at the university and conduct research and video documentary production at the University of Swaziland-Kwaluseni during the 2011-2012 school year. Smith, a former SUU communication department chair, began teaching in Swaziland in August 2011 and is on sabbatical leave from SUU during this assignment. He will return to SUU in August 2012.  


In Swaziland Smith has been teaching journalism and broadcasting classes to sophomores and juniors in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication. He introduced his students to television news production and, for the first time ever, provided video coverage of the university's annual graduation, involving the country's ruling monarch, King Mswati III. 

Read more (and watch video) on Jon Smith and his Fulbright Scholar experience.



SUU Debuts as Most Affordable of "America's 100 Best College Buys"

America's 100 Best College BuysSouthern Utah University is excited to announce its debut as one "America's 100 Best College Buys" in the 2011-12 national evaluation.


Conducted by the independent Institutional Research & Evaluation, Inc., this annual evaluation weighs both the academic success and price tag of each college and university across the nation, with a ranking system designed to determine which of the best colleges are the most affordable.


SUU records the lowest annual tuition of the 100 schools listed, proving the hidden gem that is an SUU education. 


Read more about SUU being named one of "America's 100 Best College Buys".



Let us know what kind of SUU news you want to see in News from the Nest by emailing